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Faith "Faye" Wright

February 11, 1932 - October 25, 2016
Grand Rapids, MI

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Life Story / Obituary


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When reflecting back on the life of Faye Wright, she was a devoted wife, loving mother, and caring grandmother. Although she would say that she wasn’t very outgoing, she certainly made new friends easily and loved all people. She was a hard worker, a dedicated volunteer and a special person to so many. Faye enjoyed many years quilting, bowling, and gardening, yet her favorite time was spent with her children and grandchildren. Faye will be dearly missed and leaves behind a rich collection of special memories shared with her loved ones.

With banks still closing as a result of the Great Depression, the promise of a new election year awaiting, and during the midst of one of the greatest droughts in American history, Matthew and Mabel (Bartlett) Karelse had hope again with the arrival of their newborn daughter, Faith on February 11,1932. Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the fourth child in the family, Faye brought light into an era of hard times.

While growing up, Faye attended the beautiful Marywood Academy. While she and her sister were still home, their parents divorced. Their divorce brought significant challenges, yet they continued living with their mother and helped pitch in around the house. While still young and uncommitted, Faye enjoyed traveling, including living in both New York and Florida for some time. Returning to Grand Rapids and employed as a meat counter clerk at the Eberhard’s Grocery Store, she met the love of her life, Freeman “Lee” Wright. The two of them were inseparable and joined in marriage on March 9, 1957. They honeymooned along the beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline in Ludington, Michigan. They built a warm and loving home together raising two wonderful children; Rex and Dawn. She loved her role as a mother, working mostly night shifts at Meijer in order to arrive home in time to get the kids off to school and even helped out as a room mom in their early years in grade school. She and Lee worked opposite shifts to provide the children a secure home where each of them took active roles in nurturing them. Faye treasured the times of filling their home with neighborhood kids and her children’s school friends over the years. When the family wanted to sneak away, their favorite destination was often a trip to Lee’s parent’s trailer on the serene Muskegon River.

Always active, she and Lee enjoyed going for motorcycle rides and also traveling with their friends from Sunshine Riders. Together they toured many unique and interesting parts of the country.Faye very much enjoyed bowling, canning her own fruits and vegetables, and keeping her home meticulous. She continued many years working at the Meijer meat counter to contribute to the expenses of her varied hobbies and interests. In her later years, she enjoyed her time as a greeter at the Plainfield Meijer store. A compassionate person, Faye cared for her parents as they aged as well as for Lee’s parents in their last years. When the children were grown, they moved not too far away to Airway, which would be their home for the rest of their lives. She was always willing to help out when she was needed. Faye felt she was happiest when she was making a difference by helping and contributing her time and resourceful skills for her family and others in need. Remarkably, she sewed nearly 1,200 quilts over the years for patients at St. Mary's Hospital and DeVos Children's Hospital! One could never estimate the impact of Faye’s generosity over the years to so many families.

After retiring, Faye had more time to cherish her grandchildren. She had them help in the garden and was never too busy for a tea party! She shared her many talents including her sewing and her expansive doll and bear collections. Faye excitedly passed on her thrill of collecting by starting each of them with their own Beanie Baby collection over the years. She never missed an opportunity to tell her grandchildren about the tough times she had seen and how lucky they have life nowadays. She always wanted them to appreciate what they had, knowing the hard times she experienced herself. She was a true lover of ice cream and found any occasion to have a treat or two with each of them. When Lee passed away in 2008, she spent more time at social events, took senior trips and enjoyed many gatherings with her retired Meijer coworkers to keep her busy. She also enjoyed many special visits to her daughter's home on Murray Lake. During her last six months, she was experiencing health issues. After a stay in the hospital, she returned to her daughter’s home. There she was cared for by family before peacefully passing away. Described as caring, dedicated, and compassionate, Faye lived her life serving others. Her warm memories and special way of showing her thoughtfulness will be deeply missed by many.

Faith "Faye" J. Wright, age 84 of Grand Rapids, left this world for Heaven on October 25, 2016, where she is now at peace and without pain. She was preceded in death by her husband, Freeman "Lee" Wright in 2008; her brother, Bob Karelse; and sisters Winona Calvo and Carolyn Reamsma. Faye is survived by her children Rex and Lisa Wright, Dawn and David Emelander; and by her granddaughters Angela Wright, Bailee and Madison Emelander. Cremation has taken place and a celebration of life service will be held in the Spring. Her family thanks the staff of Spectrum Health Blodgett "G" Unit for the wonderful care. To share a favorite memory or to sign the online register, please visit www.lifestorynet.com.

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